What has happened to us and what do we do now?

Presented by

Periodicals supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD

June 2018

2 « June 2018 « Periodicals supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD «


Roundtable panelists



Oklahoma City Police




Palomar and

Community Leader



United Way of

Central Oklahoma



m.d., dlfapa

Integris Arcadia Trails Center



Potts Family Foundation



District Judge



Oklahoma Department of Mental

Health and Substance Abuse Services



Associate publisher and editor,

The Journal Record

Oklahoma Behavioral Health




HEALTHY MINDS OK » Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD » June 2018 » 3

Mr. Streuli: How do

adverse experiences in childhood

impact a child at the

time and in the future, and

why in the treatment system

should we be asking ourselves what might

this individual have experienced and what

might they have or have not received to

address the underlying issues?

Commissioner White:

Oklahoma has really high

rates of adverse childhood

experiences. And they have

significant influences on all

of the other negative impacts that we’re all

trying to fix, address, and prevent.

There’s absolutely a direct correlation

between the things we experience in childhood

and the high numbers of Oklahomans

who experience mental health and

substance abuse disorders, incarceration,

adverse physical health experiences. And

when we look at our high trauma rate, it’s

that emotional impact of being exposed to

trauma that affects the course of our life.

So trauma can happen to us when we’re

adults, but it’s much more common in our

childhood and our adolescence, and the

kicker about that is that’s when our brain

is developing, and trauma very specifically

affects the way that your brain develops.

So, at the time when our brain is most

vulnerable, unfortunately, that’s when

Oklahomans and the rest of the nation are

experiencing more trauma.

When I talk about what an adverse

childhood experience is, let me talk to

you a little bit about what that means. For

those of you that aren’t familiar with the

ACE Study, they were specifically looking

at long-term, really awful health outcomes

for people, and they were looking to figure

out what the root cause was.

The common factor [they found]

among adults who were struggling with

serious physical health issues and mental

health issues, brain health issues, was that

they’d experienced profound trauma in

their childhood. That was the root cause.

What they specifically looked at was

recurrent physical and emotional abuse,

sexual abuse. If you were living with someone

who had untreated addiction issues,

or untreated mental illness or someone

At the time when our brain is most vulnerable,

unfortunately, that’s when Oklahomans and the rest

of the nation are experiencing more trauma.

who had attempted suicide; someone in

your house, particularly a parent, had been

incarcerated [or a victim of] domestic

violence. Parental separation or divorce is

one of the factors for adverse childhood

experiences; and then emotional and

physical neglect.

Now, several studies also directly look

at the issue of economic stability in the

family because that has a high correlation

with trauma.

So knowing that each adverse childhood

experience adds up, if you think

about it as a score card, each adverse

childhood experience being a point, the

higher the number of adverse childhood

experiences or points that you experience,

the more likely you are to have all of the

difficulties in terms of long-term health

outcomes, mental health outcomes, brain

health outcomes, and other things.

For Oklahoma, economic hardship

is actually the most frequently reported

adverse childhood experience. The second

is divorce or separation of a parent. After

those two, you see a little bit of difference

in what the third most common adverse

childhood experience is.

We have the

distinction of being

the state with the

highest number of

adverse childhood


For Caucasian kids, it’s having a parent

with an untreated mental health or

substance abuse issue. For our African-

American children it’s having a parent

who’s been incarcerated.

For our Hispanic youth, [it’s a tie between]

having a parent who’s incarcerated

or being in a house with a parent who has

untreated substance abuse.

So, as we think about these adverse

childhood experiences and what we want

to be focusing on, I think it’s important

that we know what our children in

Oklahoma are experiencing most often.

Approximately one out of three children in

Oklahoma experience economic hardship,

which is a really high number compared

to other states. And unfortunately, we

have the distinction of being the state with

the highest number of adverse childhood

experiences. Period.

So when the national survey of children’s

health did the measure, our children

had the highest ACE scores in the United


The 2012 National Survey of Children’s

Health listed Oklahoma and Montana as

tied for the states with the most children

affected by trauma in general, and approximately

17 percent of the children in

both Oklahoma and Montana experience

an ACE score of three or more.

Ten to 12 percent of our Oklahoma

children have an ACE score that’s four or

higher. So this is not an uncommon issue.

We’re not talking about a few children in

our state. We’re talking about a significant


Having an ACE score of four or more is

associated with elevated risks of developing

seven out of the 10 leading causes of

premature and early death in the United


We see the results in all of our systems

across our state. When we look at trauma

screening for our system, 99 percent of the

individuals we treat for mental health issues

have experienced trauma in their life.

When you look at substance abuse, half

of the individuals or more, depending on

the year that it’s reported, have experienced


We also know that it’s not just our

system. New studies have found that childhood

trauma can raise the risk of heart

diseases in adults. And that particularly

could explain why, unfortunately, we rank

second in the United States for the rate of

heart disease.

My point is that this isn’t a problem that

just occurs. We know that these issues are

all related together.

I think that’s one of the really important

parts of framing this question about what

happened to you. It’s no longer about why.

4 « June 2018 « Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD « HEALTHY MINDS OK

Because we know what the common thread

is going to be. So creating safe spaces where

people can begin to talk about trauma —

the root cause of so many of the issues we’re

trying to address — is what’s really going to

increase our success rates.

Mr. Streuli: Chief, I’d

like you to tell us what is a

trauma-informed work force

city and state.

Chief Citty: It’s important,

especially in our profession,

to know what trauma

really is and how people are

affected by trauma. It’s really

important in the work force in general

because it helps us understand each other,

why we may behave a certain way, and

why we may act out.

It’s important because what we do now

and what we react to is based on a lot of

the trauma that we’ve experienced in our

lifetimes, and we’ve all experienced it.

Most of us have been touched by drug addiction

and a lot of other things, especially

in law enforcement.

We don’t put anybody in prison that

isn’t suffering from trauma. Most of those

individuals that we deal with have been

traumatized, they’re probably an eight,

nine, or ten [on the ACE scale].

I knew crime was a family affair. It’s

carried on from generation to generation

because those individuals that are abusers

now, whether it’s domestic abuse or sexual

abuse or those types of things, have been

traumatized and abused at some point in

time in their family.

So many times the old school of

thought for law enforcement was, “Well,

they made me do it. I’m reacting to how

they’re acting.”

We can’t do that anymore because we

need to understand why they’re acting that

way and deal with that person in a way

that we treat them fairly, that we treat their

issue, not just the person and the threat.

We have a long ways to go because

that’s a cultural change for law enforcement,

but it’s imperative that we understand

what that is and try to learn what

we’re dealing with out in the community.

I could go into internally, too. I responded

to the [Oklahoma City] bombing,

and I noticed officers there were a lot of

officers that were crying. And I found later

when we did a lot of the debriefings, the

officers that were impacted the most were

ones that had the least amount of support,

that had issues when they were children.

So many times the old school of thought for law

enforcement was, “Well, they made me do it. I’m reacting to

how they’re acting.” We can’t do that anymore because we

need to understand why they’re acting that way and deal

with that person in a way that we treat them fairly.

Mr. Streuli: Judge, how

does trauma affect the justice

system and then the people

in our jails and prisons?

Judge Stoner: Somewhere

around 75 percent

of all the cases that we deal

with on a criminal basis in

our courthouse have addiction

[as] an underlying issue. This is not an

open question anymore.

Even our surgeon general has declared

addiction as a national public health crisis.

In my view, it is the public health crisis

of our time, and it is in our courts, in our

prisons. If we could address that, it would

solve most of our problems.

In the last decade, there have been just

incredible advances in technology, in the

study of neurobiology, neuropsychology,

and we’ve discovered some amazing things.

And the effect of childhood trauma literally

alters the architecture of a child’s brain, and

when it does that, it forms in an abnormal

way. And those children grow up and they

look like adults, but they still have that

child brain that’s been affected by trauma.

And if you fast forward 20 years, those

are the ones that become fixtures in our

criminal justice system.

Trauma is not

the only driver

of addiction,

but the studies

have shown

that it’s the

primary driver

of addiction.

Trauma is not the only driver of addiction,

but the studies have shown and I’m

persuaded that it’s the primary driver of


What’s really underlying addiction?

We like to jump to conclusions that this is

about the drugs or it’s about the alcohol,

okay? It’s not. Just because someone has

a drink of alcohol doesn’t make them an


People are prescribed opiates for pain

management. They don’t become addicted,

not all of them. And so it tells us there’s a

missing piece of this puzzle.

There is a susceptibility to addiction,

and there’s three or four things at least

that cause someone to be susceptible to


Trauma is the No. 1 thing, especially

exposure to childhood trauma.

Mental health issues, and mental health

issues and trauma are so closely related,

sometimes they’re indistinguishable.

The other one is genetics. There’s about

five genetic markers that create a susceptibility

to addiction.

The forth on is a lack of connection.

Dr. Gabor Mate called it a spiritual issue

… there’s an emptiness inside, a dissatisfaction

with life, a constant disturbance

of the sense of self. People are just not


So these four factors: mental health,

trauma, the spiritual issue, and genetics

are the driving factors in addiction,

and the people that use the substances

find comfort in them despite the adverse


What is the effect of trauma in a

criminal justice system? If you look at

it in economic terms … what is the cost

of all of our patrol officers running our

jails, running our prisons, the prosecutors,

the judges, the DHS workers that

have to care for the children of people

that are incarcerated? The numbers are


I like to think of the trauma, and the

effects in the criminal justice system is

an opportunity for us to revolutionize

the way that we approach addicts in our

system. We’ve got to get away from the

mass incarceration model, and we’ve got to

move towards a trauma-informed restorative

justice model.

When we realize that trauma is where

the pipeline of prison begins. I propose

that’s where we start.

Mr. Streuli: Pat, I’d

like you to address why

trauma and resilience —

why we should address

those things and their

underlying causes, and I’d also like you

to include in that a little about what the

Potts Family Foundation’s Resilience

initiative is about.

Ms. Potts: Our foundation

has really been focused

on early childhood. We

know that some 80 to 85 percent

of the brain is developed

the first three years of life, and that is when

the brain is the most subject to positive or

negative growth, and it lays the foundation

for what happens later in life.

The return on investment is the greatest

there, and so that’s a strong piece of what

we are focusing on, the when.

But we have three things that we’re

focusing on that I think fit. One of them

is how important education and support

of at-risk parents is. If we do a better job

of providing that safety net, we will have

much better outcomes for our kids.

A second one is that we need to really

assess and treat early brain and physical

health issues, and we know that as early

as nine months the beginnings of mental

health problems can be observed. Things

that have to do with hearing, sight, all

kinds of health problems that can handicap

a child as they progress into school.

If they’re caught earlier, they aren’t a


We think that’s really important, and

the pediatricians in our state are working

to be aware of what limitations a child has

that can be overcome early and make a


We think the existence of high-quality,

affordable child care is critical in our state,

and we have diminished the subsidy for atrisk

poorer parents for high quality child

care. Most parents — both the mother

and the father — are working, and they

can’t afford child care. You look at the cost

sometimes, it’s very comparable to college,

and yet, that’s the time when the direction

of a child’s life is determined.

Not only should our government be

doing a better job of subsidizing, but it’s

an opportunity for public-private partnerships.

Businesses can come together,

whether it’s in a rural community or whatever,

to make sure that they do provide

HEALTHY MINDS OK » Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD » June 2018 » 5

Eighty to 85 percent of the brain is developed the first

three years of life, and that is when the brain is the most

subject to positive or negative growth, and it lays the

foundation for what happens later in life.

high quality [child care] in communities

where it doesn’t exist and make sure it’s


We’ve been really concerned with the

way the safety net has been decimated in

the last few years and felt any one group

alone can’t change things, but together,

we’re a powerful force.

And so this 25 by 25 coalition began

out of a vision that our state, instead

of being in the bottom ten on almost

everything that impacts families and kids,

should set a goal of being among the top

25 States by 2025, and that’s based on a

lot of measures of what is happening in

early childhood.

Then we have a coalition that includes

some 50 legislators in early childhood. We

just passed a trauma-informed task force

that will be studying the most relevant

and effective ways to deal with trauma and

making recommendations to the legislature

on that. So we hope that will have an

impact on policies and priorities at the

state level.

We have a group of business leaders

who speak to civic groups about how

important investment in early childhood

is. We have some 60 allied organizations

that, working together, [add] a stronger

voice on behalf of early childhood, and

I think they have had an impact in the


I really like to describe our goal as

to prevent, heal, and treat ACEs while

promoting resiliency. And although understanding

all the things that go wrong

in our lives is really important, we also

need to be hope-centered in terms of our

response, and we have to be able to move

past understanding the why to what next

and helping people build a sense of their

coping skills, of their ability to succeed

in life.

I think our state has been so focused

on punishment when we ought to be

focused on prevention and treatment. All

of you have seen how our communities

pull together when there’s a real crisis,

but we’ve got to be pulling together to

prevent crises on an individual and on a

group basis.

Mr. Streuli: Dr.

Krishna, could you talk

to us about what helps

individuals, communities,

and schools be resilient and

have healthy minds?

Dr. Krishna: Resilience

is basically a transfer of skill,

like the coal of adversity

being transformed into a diamond

of beautiful strength.

Human beings have the inner healing

strength that we’re all hardwired with

just like we’re hardwired with the stress

response. That’s the core of trauma, excessive

repetitive stress that pertains and

persists through a person’s life. And that’s

what causes havoc in a person’s mental

health, physical health, and in every possible

way because how their [emotions]

are regulated is affected, and their pasts

are disturbed, and the way they relate to

people is also disturbed, and their health

is severely affected by lowered immunity,

increased levels of various abnormal

conditions in the body that give them all

kinds of physical problems. We need to

reverse that, and that is a learnable skill

set that every one of us can be taught.

Every thought, every

interaction we have,

everything we see

and hear contributes

to changes in the

brain and body


Every thought, every interaction we

have, everything we see and hear contributes

to changes in the brain and body


For example, … if you have a happy

thought, if you smile, if something silly is

pointed out, you have 22 percent circulation

increase right away.

Similarly, if Ted started the meeting

four minutes late and you are angry at him

for the next two hours, your chance of

having a heart attack goes up 230 percent.

These are studies done in medical

centers around the world. So, can you

imagine a young baby born out of this

beautiful, protected, air-conditioned,

shock-absorbing womb with love and

warmth and affection and half-connected

to the Man above and half-connected to

the earth here, suddenly being thrust into

this world that is stressful? On top of that,

how they’re nurtured or not nurtured,

how they’re talked with or not talked

with, how they’re interacted with, whether

they are abused or neglected, all these

factors have tremendous effects on their

inner code of self.

From various parts of the brain like

the prefrontal cortex, the nucleus accumbens,

the center for reward system and

satisfaction and contentment and fulfillment

to the amygdala, which becomes

hyperactive, exacerbating the dangerous

signals from the world [and] keeping the

system in a constant state of turmoil and

terror, activating the hypothalamic pituitary

in the cortical system that pushed

all of these hormones. Normally they’re

very small, but it’s a constant fluctuation

of these hormones which becomes toxic.

The cortisol and the norepinephrine

makes the heart beat fast and blood pressure

go high.

So the internal turmoil that’s been

activated — and it’s repetitively activated

by various traumatic events that a person

goes through — causes these changes

according to what Commissioner White

talked about, what Ms. Potts talked about,

what the Chief talked about and what

Judge Stoner talked about, and that is

creating a major public health crisis in the

United States.

You know, with the Ebola virus, a few

people died, and the nation panicked. Yet

we have hundreds of millions of people

affected by this permanent disease, and

they die 20 to 30 years earlier than you

and I. Why? The stress hormones and the

amount of turmoil they go through cuts

down the aging process.

What can we do to improve resilience

and the capacity to just grow into a more

healthy life?

There’s hope because we’re already

hardwired with the healing response. We

just need to help people find the healing

response at whatever stage they are.

So what are those things? They can

translate them to schools, they can translate

that into the justice system and the judicial

system and the educational system,

everywhere. The most important thing is

an empathic connection — preferably a

loving, empathic connection.

When you have an empathic connection,

a loving connection, magic happens

in the human brain [and] in the body. You

may not even have touched the person,

but if the person knows you care, that

you’re willing to stand by them, that you’re

willing to guide them and help them to

learn the skills they need and help them

with problems in their life, magic starts to

happen in the body.

A variety of skill sets that can be taught.

For example, cognitive reappraisal with

therapeutically-trained workers who can

help people to reappraise their past and

trauma and see them in a different light

than what they were before with the assurance

that they will not go back there.

You can activate their inner healing

system by simple techniques that anybody

can be taught within a matter of


For example, the vagus nerve, the 10th

cranial nerve, starts in the mid-brain

and goes all the way through the throat

and supplies the muscles here, goes to

the lungs and the heart, supplies the liver

and the spleen and the kidneys and the

intestines, and for a long time doctors and

scientists thought this vagus nerve has

only a one-way tract. It orders how our

stomach should respond, how our heart

should respond.

What they found by scientific discovery

is some very simple techniques actually

reverse that. In fact, 80 percent of the vagal

functioning is under your command if you

know how to activate it.

When you activate the vagus nerve

through whatever mechanism then

reversal of everything we talked about

starts happening. The hypothalamic

pituitary adrenal cortex starts reversing

itself into more healing response,

more parasympathetic response. That’s


It starts happening within minutes

actually. The telomeres we talked about

chopping off and increasing the aging

process slow down the aging process


6 « June 2018 « Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD « HEALTHY MINDS OK

Similarly, the blood pressure drops

down to proper levels, the immune system

starts kicking in and saying I want to be

able to help you, and I want to get ready.

Similarly, how the tissues heal and

repair themselves, start happening right

away. Mindfulness education is extremely

beneficial to people. It is self-awareness

with enormous physiological benefits with

cognitive benefits with emotional regulation

benefits, impulse control benefits.

The simple techniques that can be

taught to people that will save them a lot

of trouble at the same time help them to

grow into healthy human beings.

Mr. Streuli: Debby

Hampton, in your career

you’ve had a front row view

of personal trauma, of large

scale public trauma, and I’m

hoping you’ll talk to us a little bit about

how we recover from trauma.

Ms. Hampton: Some

of the things that we have

to teach people is mental

health, those needs, are going

to go on for a long time.

As I work with the most recent large scale

tornados of 2013, I am still talking to donors

that gave to that disaster and they’re

saying, “What do you mean there’s still

mental health needs and we’re on the fifth


I don’t know if any of you noticed today

is May 3, and how many of you go back to

the May 3, 1999 tornados? And with the

weather we were having yesterday, all of

that is triggers, and we have to really look

at the trauma of disasters.

When I worked for the American Red

Cross, your job was to get in and get out

as quickly as possible. And we never really

looked at the long-term mental health

needs. We are starting to do that now.

We have teamed up with Terri’s group,

but one of the things that I think you’re going

to see us track is after the 2013 tornados

hit, we were able to put counselors in every

one of the Moore schools. They’re still there

today. We’re looking at them going to 2019

at this point. Not that the needs won’t be

met in 2019, but honestly, the resources will

have been spent.

That’s the piece that I think we need to

look at. We have the right programs. We

have the right agencies to do the work. We

just need the resources.

Mr. Streuli: Tricia

Everest, we would like you

to talk about what we can


Ms. Everest: I help

to bring the community

together and bring projects

out to the community, and

to be sitting here with these

leaders in each of their own professions is

quite an honor and quite representative of

what we can do.

Debby brought up a good point with

the Red Cross that you’re trained to get in

and get out. Well, the Red Cross should

maintain that, but not having known that

or heard that… It’s one thing to keep educating

or keep talking about the problem,

but if we bring people together, use this

type of forum and say, ‘this is what I do’

and to not look at it as a fight for resources

or not look at it as a I am a social worker

and I can’t talk to law enforcement or law

enforcement can’t talk to medical. If we sit

there looking at the people you wouldn’t

think you’d be working with and start

working and planning together, then we’ll

be able to create faster solutions and be

able to start changing.

I’ll use Remerge as an example where

25 people, 25 organizations came together

under the United Way. They’ve created a

diversion program for mothers [in] prison

for non-violent offenses.

We have an average of 50 participants.

Their average ACE score as a group is 4.6

to 4.8. Seventy-eight percent of them had

grown up in the judicial system – either

delinquent or deprived.

We know how to start coming together

and recognizing that if we help those

women, then we’ve helped their generation

in getting those kids out.

When we built Palomar, we had over

142 different people in a room, all stakeholders

coming together that not all had

ever worked together.

Palomar [now] has 26 agencies working

together under one roof for victims

of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder

abuse, bullying, cyber stalking. And you

look at how these people now that we have

agencies working together in law enforcement

… now that they sit together and

they’re looking at certain cases, there’s new

solutions being formed just by bringing

people to the table. If we start treating

people different, start recognizing that

all of this is predictive, we can go back to

looking at these average childhood experiences,

we can keep going higher up the

river and start finding those pathways that

[Dr. Krishna] referred to.

And if we start talking to each other

and sit down and use these types of

forums, then we have shared language

and we find shared gaps in the service

and we’re able to start making solutions

so that when the task force comes

together and when the legislature works

on something we as organizations are

already showing examples of how it can

be done.

Mr. Streuli: Debby,

you concluded your

remarks talking about needing

resources, and when I

heard that I translated it. It

means you need money, to put it simply,

and I wonder if that’s accurate, or if

It’s one thing to keep educating or keep talking about the

problem, but if we bring people together, use this type of

forum and say, ‘this is what I do’ … then we’ll be able to

create faster solutions and be able to start changing.

you’re talking about other resources, and

if we’re talking about money, where does

it need to come from?

Ms. Hampton: I was

really talking about money,

No. 1, because I can tell you

we need that, but we also

need the right people. We

need to fund the right programs, and we

have those evidence-based programs, but I

think we really have to educate the philanthropic

community, the legislators. We’ve

got to prioritize what we’re doing.

If you look at what we’re funding, it’s

not as much going towards the things

that I feel we need, like prevention. I do

think that Oklahoma is a state [where] we

take care of each other. I know that from

my disaster relief days we never had to

worry if there were enough volunteers.

There would be thousands of people

wanting to help. But I do think it comes

down to educating, reducing the stigma

of mental health and putting our money

in the right place.

Not all abuse or

domestic violence is

because of untreated

mental illness and

addiction, but if you

treat the mental

illness and addiction,

the rates do go down.

Commissioner White:

If we want to look at reducing

adverse childhood experiences,

we have to make sure

parents are healthy, right?

And so, when you look at the list of

ACE scores, one of them is a parent with

untreated mental illness in the home;

another, a parent with untreated addiction

in the home; another is a parent who’s

incarcerated, and as we heard the judge

say, untreated addiction and mental health

lead to incarceration.

Not all abuse or domestic violence is

because of untreated mental illness and

addiction, but if you treat the mental illness

and addiction, the rates do go down.

And so there is a huge connection

between treating mental illness and addiction

and trauma. I’m not saying it’s

the only answer … but it is the one that

historically has been the most neglected.

It’s very different today thanks to so

many in the media and other people, but

it’s hard for me to explain how underfunded

it’s been for decades. We’ve got to

climb out of that giant hole, and then we

can begin to maintain it from there. But

that is a big issue.

Mr. Streuli: A lot of

what I’ve heard you talk about

seems to me to be very urban

centric. If you’re in Oklahoma

City or Tulsa, the awareness

level and the services might be available.

That might not be true in 70-some more rural

counties that might have fewer accessible

services to people who need them. How do

you reach the rural part of Oklahoma to

educate them and to provide some of the

services we’ve been talking about?

Ms. Potts: I would like

to address that in reference

to the film, Resilience, which

we have been showing. I

think there’s 31 showings

we’ve had already, and well over 2,000

people have observed it.

HEALTHY MINDS OK » Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD » June 2018 » 7

This Resilience film helps people connect

with the experiences they’ve had or

folks they come in contact [with] have had.

And I think rural communities can

respond just as well. I have a sense that

our reliance on state funding, leadership

maybe is overdone, and that communities

can come together, and part of the

showing of Resilience is bringing together

a group of experts that represent law

enforcement and the medical profession,

schools, whatever, to come up with solutions

within their communities along with

the business community.

So the resources are certainly fewer. I

think technology can be a big help in that,

but it ultimately comes down to each of us

to work within our communities.

And by the way, that film – we are making

it available, it’s free, and we take it all

over the state.

So it’s a way of increasing awareness,

but we are so aware of how important it is

to move beyond that awareness to being

hope-centered and what are the actions

that we can take in schools and communities

with law enforcement that give hope

and opportunity to people.

Chief Citty: We have

a program called our crisis intervention

teams, and we do

a lot with Terri and her staff

in trying to teach other rural

areas and other law enforcement agencies,

but you’re never gonna have enough money

to put all the resources in rural areas.

Every rural area will have access to a

treatment center, those types of things, but

you can make them more accessible.

Somebody from far southeastern Oklahoma

shouldn’t have to come to Oklahoma

City to find a bed. It happens now,

though, and it’s better now for the work

that Terri’s done and some of the crisis

centers and some of the things that we’ve

put in place. Tulsa used to bring theirs to

Oklahoma City because they didn’t have

enough beds. Well, that’s absurd.

So your larger metropolitan areas obviously

is where you have a concentration of

those issues and problems, but if you have

more stringing throughout the state that

would be at least more accessible that would

be a big, big help in the area of treatment

whether it’s addiction or mental health.

The other this is [there are] so many

great agencies doing so many great things,

and to identify what needs to be done, it

can be overwhelming and the dollars can

be spread so thin because there’s so many

people doing great things.

I think Palomar is a good example

of actually using those resources much

more efficiently and bringing groups

together. Even the police and legal aid

found out they have a lot of similarities,

and they work great together where

before cops didn’t care, legal aid they

[didn’t] talk to us. When they put them

together, all of a sudden, they found out

cops do care, and legal aid can really

help us. And so you’ve got cops that

want to do a better job, and legal aid

that feel, ‘we’ve got these resources right

next door.’

One place we have that needs to be addressed

is our school system.

We have these institutions where we

have our youth captured. But you walk

into most schools and they don’t have

enough counselors. They don’t have mental

health professionals, somebody that

can truly identify what a child’s problems

are, and it may be the problem is at home

and the resources are needed at home. So

that kid doesn’t go home worried about

getting beaten up and have to worry about

that on a daily basis.

I’ve always been frustrated with why

those dollars haven’t been spent at that

level because when I first made chief 14

years ago, the media asked me, well, what

can we do to make things better, how can

we lower crime, and my response then and

it’s the same today, is get our kids through

school, get them an education. But they

have a hard time doing that faced with all

of the trauma that they may be experiencing

at home or have themselves. Why we

don’t put some dollars into that front end

is beyond me.

Judge Stoner: Where

this begins is if there was

a class in school on mood

regulation, because ultimately,

addiction is not being

comfortable with your mood.

Having classes on mood regulation,

teaching mindfulness and intentional

breath work, these are powerful tools and

they’re free. You gotta teach them, but

these are skills that a child will take with

them for the rest of their life.

Intentional breath work is a powerful

tool. It’s used by the Navy Seals to stay

calm in battle.

But this is something we need to be

teaching children in our classrooms, and

to me, it’s on par with a lot of the subjects

that we teach kids.

We should be teaching it in prisons.

We’ve got to have a monitor that says this

is going to be a very stressful experience

for you. Learn how to breathe.

Dr. Krishna: I think

most importantly we should

remove the stigma. Because

in most of the nation people

think of mental illness and

addiction and trauma as moral failures.

They don’t realize these are disorders of

the brain … and these disorders can be

treated and prevented.

We need to have more and more activism

in promoting the concepts on wellness

and the concepts of healing.

Mr. Streuli: If there

is one thought you didn’t

get a chance to express here

today that you were especially

hoping to, please take

a moment to do that.

Ms. Potts: Our schools

need to be teaching for life

rather than teaching to test

and the pressure they have to

do the opposite is negative.

8 « June 2018 « Periodicals Supplement to THE JOURNAL RECORD « HEALTHY MINDS OK

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